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The original is to be found in Bartholinus, De Causis contemnendæ Mortis; Hafniæ, 1689, quarto, p. 632.

Upreis Odinn allda gautr, &c.

UPROSE the king of men with speed,
And saddled straight his coal-black steed:
Down the yawning steep he rode,
That leads to Hela's drear abode.
Him the dog of darkness spied;
His shaggy throat he open'd wide,
While from his jaws, with carnage fill'd,
Foam and human gore distill'd:

Ver. 4. That leads to Hela's drear abode] Niflheliar, the hell of the Gothic nations, consisted of nine worlds, to which were devoted all such as died of sickness, old age, or by any other means than in battle. Over it presided Hela, the goddess of death. MASON.

Hela, in the Edda, is described with a dreadful countenance, and her body half flesh-colour, and half blue. GRAY.

Ver. 5. Him the dog of darkness spied] The Edda gives this dog the name of Managarmar. He fed upon the lives of those that were to die. MASON.

Hoarse he bays with hideous din,
Eyes that glow, and fangs that grin ;
And long pursues, with fruitless yell,
The father of the powerful spell.
Onward still his way he takes,

(The groaning earth beneath him shakes,)
Till full before his fearless eyes

The portals nine of hell arise.

Right against the eastern gate,
By the moss-grown pile he sate;
Where long of yore to sleep was laid
The dust of the prophetic maid.
Facing to the northern clime,

Thrice he trac'd the Runic rhyme;

Thrice pronounc'd, in accents dread,
The thrilling verse that wakes the dead;
Till from out the hollow ground
Slowly breath'd a sullen sound.


What call unknown, what charms presume To break the quiet of the tomb?

Who thus afflicts my troubled sprite,

And drags me from the realms of night?
Long on these mould'ring bones have beat
The winter's snow, the summer's heat,
The drenching dews, and driving rain!
Let me, let me sleep again.

Who is he, with voice unblest,

That calls me from the bed of rest?


A traveller, to thee unknown,
Is he that calls, a warrior's son.

Thou the deeds of light shalt know;
Tell me what is done below,

For whom yon glitt'ring board is spread,
Drest for whom yon golden bed?


Mantling in the goblet see
The pure bev'rage of the bee:
O'er it hangs the shield of gold;
"Tis the drink of Balder bold:
Balder's head to death is giv'n.
Pain can reach the sons of heav'n!
Unwilling I my lips unclose:
Leave me, leave me to repose.


Once again my call obey,
Prophetess, arise, and say,

Ver. 40. Tell me what is done below] Odin was anxious about the fate of his son Balder, who had dreamed he was soon to die. He was killed by Odin's other son, Hoder, who was himself slain by Vali, the son of Odin and Rinda, consonant with this prophecy. See the Edda.

Ver. 51. Once again my call obey] Women were looked upon by the Gothic nations as having a peculiar insight into futurity; and some there were that made profession of magic arts and divination. These travelled round the country, and were received in every house with great respect and honour. Such a woman bore the name of Volva Seidkona or Spakona. The

What dangers Odin's child await,
Who the author of his fate?


In Hoder's hand the hero's doom;
His brother sends him to the tomb.
Now my weary lips I close:
Leave me, leave me to repose.


Prophetess, my spell obey,

Once again arise, and say,
Who th' avenger of his guilt,

By whom shall Hoder's blood be spilt?


In the caverns of the west,

By Odin's fierce embrace compress'd,
A wondrous boy shall Rinda bear,

Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair,

dress of Thorbiorga, one of these prophetesses, is described at large in Eirik's Rauda Sogu, (apud Bartholin. lib. i. cap. iv. p. 688.) "She had on a blue vest spangled all over with stones, a necklace of glass beads, and a cap made of the skin of a black lamb lined with white cat-skin. She leaned on a staff adorned with brass, with a round head set with stones; and was girt with an Hunlandish belt, at which hung her pouch full of magical instruments. Her buskins were of rough calf-skin, bound on with thongs studded with knobs of brass, and her gloves of white cat-skin, the fur turned inwards," &c. They were also called Fiolkyngi, or Fiolkunnug, i. e. Multi-scia; and Visindakona, i. e. Oraculorum Mulier; Nornir, i. e. Parcæ. GRAY.

Ver. 66. Who ne'er shall comb his raven-hair] King Harold made (according to the singular custom of his time) a solemn

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